Saturday, December 5, 2009

The best laid struggles...

Oh, my dear lord. Last night I legitimately spent the evening with a young man of my age and general demeanor who totally and without shame listened to his c-d player the entire time. From my apartment to one bar to another bar and every street upon which we walked, this kid was in his own world, with the c-d of his choosing. Naturally I was both enthralled and concerned by this action. Why, might you ask? Let me explain.

First of all, who the HELL has a portable c-d player in this day and age? My GOD that was odd to see. To be fair, this young man also carried around with him a small but substantial library of c-ds to switch in and out. Which is something that would be quite common to see in, oh, I don't know, the late nineties? Yes, well, welcome to Spain, a country where the concept of the Internet is still one that needs to me explained to the majority of the population. The other day someone told me that her parents refused to get the internet in their house because they insisted that they didn't have room for it. A second of all, who on Earth DOES that? Who listens to their music when they are with other people? Because I am a creeper at heart, at one point during the evening I found myself unabashedly staring directly at this person, as one does when something totally insane occurs. "What?" he asked me. "Nothing", I said.

Now, in another life, this incident would have totally baffled and confused me for days, maybe weeks on end. But since I came to and started living in Spain, well, this is just another day in the life. Now that I'm here I've come to realize that Pedro Almodovar isn't making fictional movies, he's making documentaries. The randomness of this country continues to amaze me daily. For example, yesterday I had planned and hoped to take a day trip to the nearby town of Segovia. I woke up, shook off my hangover, and headed to the train station to meet some friends and buy the tickets. Of course, as this is SPAIN, all of the trains for the day were sold out. How it is possible for every train leaving every half an hour to a town less then an hour away to be sold out, well, I have no idea, but guess it is. Just another fun fact about being here, I suppose.

This month at my favorite vintage theater here in Madrid they are showing a series of Charlie Chaplin films. When watching the hilarious and heartbreaking movie The Circus and observing the hijinks and antics of Chaplin as he ran, bowlegged, around a group of clowns, I couldn't help but relate strongly to his "little tramp". Lost, confused, mugging for the camera, honestly, that's like my Tuesday night here in Spain. If I had a mustache and a bowler hat, hell, you wouldn't know the difference.

Still. At least I take my headphones off when spending time with other people. I have to say, I don't think that's culture difference, I think that's just a struggle.


  1. Oh my JUST occurred to me that you would have no idea who Hank you've never met him...NEVER MIND!! But he is a portly asian fellow I know that spends every minute of every day with headphones on...